The idea that the competition can mess with a player’s swing, to a detriment, is as old as the derby itself. Then there are some, like Mike Trout, who feel there’s a physical toll from the number of big swings taken. In any case, there are generally a few players each year who decline to participate for various reasons.
This year, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins was one an overwhelming majority of fans wanted to see take part because of his ability to hit moonshots such as this. During the derby, the young slugger gave fans what they wanted to see, hitting a ball that was a few rows shy of leaving Target Field.
Prior to the All-Star break, Stanton was in a bit of a slump, with his last home run coming on June 26. Stanton has homered in two of the three games played since the Marlins’ schedule resumed and seems to believe the Home Run Derby played a part in getting himself back on track.
“Having to lock in for the Derby made me feel better,” Stanton said via MLB.com. “I wasn’t myself the last couple of weeks. The short time off and the Derby kind of helped me out. I think it will be all right.”
Perhaps Stanton’s perspective on participating in baseball’s power event varies a bit from the norm, but if it proves to be true, lookout. A locked in Giancarlo Stanton is bad news for pitchers around the majors and good news for a Marlins team that isn’t completely out of the playoff picture.
Stanton is tied with Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs for the National League lead with 23 home runs on the season.